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Plan A Visit

Everything you need to know about getting to the dig

Whether you’ve decided to experience what it’s really like to be an archaeologist and will be joining us in the trenches, or simply want to come and have a look at what we’re doing, this page contains all of the information we think you’ll need to know before the dig. If you’re joining us on site, please make sure you read it carefully, and if you have any questions please do feel free to get in touch with us before you arrive.

You can also click What’s On to see which events are on, and when.

How do I register to join the dig?

Registering for the dig is easy! It’s taking place from 31ist July – 11th August 2018 (excluding Monday 6th August, which is a rest day).

No previous experience is necessary (we love a newbie!), and there’s no need to bring your own tools – just yourself, a packed lunch, some weather appropriate clothing and plenty of enthusiasm!

Ready? Just click the link below and select which days you’d like to join us for:

Where is it?

West Northwood Farm

St Neot

PL14 6QN

What time does each dig day start and finish?

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Each day, we start with an archaeological briefing at 9:00 am. We can’t get you digging until you’ve completed it, so please arrive in plenty of time. This is especially important on your first day, as you will also need to be there for the health & safety briefing.

The dig takes places every day from 31st July – 11th August 2018 (excluding Monday 6th August).

There are also Open Days on Sunday 5th and Sunday 12th August. Click What’s On for more info.

How do I get there?

The roads leading to West Northwood Farm are narrow and twisty. Please respect the neighbours and drive with care. Note the passing places as you may need them!

Approaching from St Neot.

With the church on your left take the left turn up Liskeard Hill to Wenmouth Cross (approx 1 mile).

At the crossroads turn sharp left signposted for Bolventor.  Pass a turning on the left and take the first right (350 yards).

Continue on this road for 1.3 Cornish miles (it seems a lot longer) and turn right into the parking area at West Northwood Farm.

This will be signposted. Please park diagonally in the space on your right below the farmhouse. Mind the pot hole on the way in!

Where do I park?

Parking will be signposted in a dedicated area just below the farmhouse. From there, the Site HQ can be accessed by walking up the garden path.

Where exactly do we meet?

Every morning at 9am, at the Site HQ at West Northwood Farm – just outside the conservatory at the farm. It is a covered area with facilities to wash your hands.

What do I need to bring if I'm digging with you?
  • Packed lunch and plenty of water
  • Sturdy boots (walking boots, or Dr Martens are fine)
  • For hot weather: sunhat, sunscreen
  • For wet weather: waterproofs, hat
  • Light gardening or working gloves

Optional items

We have all the archaeological tools you’ll need, including trowels, kneeling pads and hand shovels. But if you have your own, feel free to bring them along.

You might also want to bring a notebook and, if you have one, an archaeology skills passport (available to buy online).

What is the daily schedule like?

Time | Activity

09:00  Morning briefing

09:30  Digging begins

11:00  Elevensies

13:00  Lunch

15:00  Tea and biscuits

16:00  Clean up your loose, and pack up!

Who should I contact if I'm late or lost?

Late joiners should introduce themselves to Chris Casswell for health and safety instructions.

Site telephone: 07497 384 211


Nick and Jenny Hart

01579 320683

St Neot Local Historians Project Manager

Martin Eddy

01208 821613

Site First Aid Officer

Emily Stammitti-Campbell

Site telephone :07497 384 211

What should I expect, and what will I be doing?

West Northwood Farm is situated on the southern slopes of Bodmin Moor in the parish of St. Neot. With distant views to the sea, the site is part of a Bronze Age settlement that includes several roundhouses and a field system. This year, our aim is to excavate two of them.

Last year’s dig revealed extensive re-use of the round house during the Iron Age and we seek to build upon that knowledge.

As well as yourself, this year’s dig will host the local poets and writers, home educated young people and Young Farmers who will be tasked to build a small roundhouse for grain storage.

Training will be ‘on the job’. On the first day, the DigVentures team will take you through the health and safety plan and an introduction to the site archaeology. You will be shown some finds that you could expect to find (prehistoric pottery and flint). You will also be taught excavation, drawing and finds processing, etc as the project proceeds.

I'm not part of the dig - can I still visit?

Absolutely! If you happen to be in the area during the excavation you are welcome to visit the site, we’d love to show you around.

You can also come and visit on the Open Days – Sunday 5th and Sunday 12th August 2018. Click What’s On for more info.

If you want to be kept in the loop with everything we find, and what we do with it next, the best way to do this is to sign up to the DigVentures email list.

Can I post about the dig on social media?

We will do our absolute best to ensure that each of you has a fantastic time on site, but if you have any questions or concerns while you’re with us, please do speak to a member of staff before you post anything in the public domain.

Here are our simple and considerate rules for social media:

  • Respect confidentiality if it’s requested – VERY IMPORTANT
  • No profanity at any time
  • No insulting or abusive language about fellow diggers, the public or DigVentures staff
  • Be polite and show respect for your colleagues and readers
  • Ask a DV staffer to review your post before you hit ‘post’ if you have any questions or you’re unsure if it’s appropriate.
I've heard you talking about Digital Dig Team - what is it?

Digital Dig Team is DigVenture’s HLF-funded digital archaeological recording system. It is a customised digital recording system: think of it as an online version of the traditional paper context sheets used by archaeologists.

Our team (including you) will be standing over the trenches with iPads, recording vital information including photos, plans and information about who did the digging. We’re putting our excavation online. This will allow us to report our primary data from the trenches every day in real time, and all of our experts, specialists and Venturers will have access to it through the internet. No need to wait a year for the site report: you can see the information as it happens!

This new system is going to help archaeologists to do our jobs better, and also enable us to involve the public even more in our work. Digital Dig Team is the future of fieldwork – and we’ll be using it on all of our sites, as well as partner projects

How will DigVentures ensure I am safe and happy on site?

Our priority is to maintain a safe and friendly environment for our staff and participants. We love what we do, and we make a huge effort to welcome all participants to the world of archaeology with as much positivity and enthusiasm as possible. Our team hopes that everyone brings the same approach to our sites as we do, but we recognise that on very rare occasions things can go awry.

With that in mind, DigVentures operates a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for aggressive, harassing or threatening behaviour, and takes matters of interpersonal communications very seriously. This applies to members of the public, volunteers and staff. Support and advice is available for staff and participants experiencing or witnessing bullying, harassment or discrimination; should you have an issue, please approach a member of DigVentures staff for assistance.

For physical injuries we always have a trained first-aider on site, and we will go through a risk assessment when you join us, as in our experience, when people are aware of safety issues accidents are mostly avoided. You cannot dig with us unless you’ve had the health and safety briefing, so please make sure you are on time on your first day so we can go through this with you.

Archaeology / In Your Hands